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Ban “concerned” by Turkish incursion into Iraq

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 22 (KUNA) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday was “concerned” by the latest escalation of tension along the Turkish-Iraqi border and urged the leaders of the two countries to promote peace and stability in that area, his associate spokesman Farhan Haq told the daily press briefing.
Turkish troops launched a ground incursion across the border into Iraq in pursuit of separatist Kurdish rebels earlier today, a move dramatically escalating Turkey’s conflict with the militants.
“While conscious of Turkey’s concerns, he (Ban) reiterates his appeal for utmost restraint, and for respect of the international borders between Iraq and Turkey. He also repeats his previous calls for an immediate end to continued incursions by PKK elements carrying out terrorist attacks in Turkey from Northern Iraq,” Haq said.
“The Secretary-General appeals to the Governments of Iraq and Turkey to work together to promote peace and stability along their border,” he added.
He noted that the protection of civilian life on both sides of the border remains the paramount concern. (end)